Daily earns top prize 10th year in a row


Daily Staff Report

ROANOKE -- Northern Virginia Daily news staff members received 45 awards for excellence in writing, photography and newspaper design Saturday (March 20, 2010) during the Virginia Press Association's annual editorial conference.

The association, which met at the Hotel Roanoke, also presented its prestigious Sweepstakes award to the Daily, honoring the Strasburg-based newspaper for accumulating the most points in the 2009 editorial awards competition. The Daily competes with Virginia newspapers with daily circulation of up to 20,000.

The Culpeper Star-Exponent finished second in the Sweepstakes competition for the Daily's circulation category.

The Daily, which accumulated 88 points in the association's editorial contest, has won the Sweepstakes competition 10 years in a row and in 19 of the last 22 years.

Sweepstakes awards also were presented to the Lynchburg News and Advance in the association's category for medium-size daily newspapers, and to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk in the category for the state's largest newspapers.

The association, which represents almost every newspaper in Virginia, holds one of the largest editorial contests in the nation. Overall, 87 VPA member publications submitted 3,193 entries for the 2009 contest, which was judged by members of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

The Daily received the most individual awards in its circulation class, including 14 first-place awards, 15 second-place awards and 16 third-place awards.

The Daily received writing awards for:

• In-depth or investigative writing: First place ("Hard Times") for James Heffernan, Garren Shipley, Preston Knight and Ben Orcutt.

• Sports writing portfolio: First place for Tommy Keeler Jr.; second place for Brian Eller; and third place for Jeremy Stafford.

• Breaking news writing: First place ("Deadly interstate pile-up") for Elizabeth Wilkerson and Knight; and second place ("Man charged in shooting death") for J.R. Williams.

• Column writing: First place for Chris Fordney and third place for Bob Wooten.

• Public safety writing: First place for Sally Voth and third place for Alex Bridges.

• Critical writing: First place for John Horan Jr.

• Feature story writing: First place ("Road to recovery") for Natalie Austin.

• General news writing: First place ("Brendon Barker murder") for Voth and Williams.

• Health, science and environmental writing: Second place for Austin.

• Education writing: Second place for Williams and third place for Orcutt.

• Government writing: Second place ("Military training center battle") for Knight; and third place ("Reassessment outrage") for Voth.

• Personal service writing: Second place for Jessica Wiant and third place for Williams.

• Editorial writing: Third place for Fordney.

The Daily received design awards for:

• Illustrations: First place ("Looking for answers") for the Daily sports staff; and second place ("Torn between two parents") for Anthony Ring.

• Business, financial or agricultural pages: First place for Heffernan.

• Specialty pages or sections: First place ("All-area prep teams") for the Daily sports staff; and third place ("Valley Scene -- Home") for Josette Keelor.

• Combination picture and story: First place ("Like clockwork") for Knight, Laetitia Clayton and Dennis Grundman.

• Front page: Second place for Linda De Rosa, Mariann Hughes and Melissa Newman.

• Headline writing: Third place for Heffernan.

The Daily received photography awards for:

• Pictorial photo: First place ("Misty morning") for Rich Cooley; second place ("Midday snack") for Andrew Thayer; and third place ("Nature walk"), for Cooley.

• Sports feature photo: First place ("Motocross") for Cooley.

• Feature photo: Second place ("River reflections") for Cooley.

• Photo-illustration: Second place ("Brides") for Cooley.

• Breaking news photo: Second place ("House fire") and third place ("Standoff"), both for Cooley.

• Personality or portrait photo: Second place ("A class all his own") and third place ("A cat's tale"), both for Cooley.

• General news photo: Third place ("Flu fear") for Cooley.

• Picture story or essay: Third place ("Grand Feature Parade") for Cooley.

The Daily received multimedia projects awards for:

• Multimedia news reporting: Second place ("Interstate crash kills three") for Cooley and Linda O'Dell Ash.

• Online slideshow: Second place ("Veterans Day salute") and third place ("Deadly night on Interstate 81"), both for Cooley.

• Online video: Third place ("Mother's plea") for Ash.

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